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Essential Truths of the Christian Faith Paperback – February 1, 1998
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I have always liked R. C. Sproul's works. His "The Holiness of God" is the finest overview of that topic available. Sproul brings the same dedication to "ETotCF", providing the reader with core theological points and the Scriptures to back them. As a quick reference it shines. For anyone starting in the faith or seeking a more broad grounding in doctrine, this is as good a place to start as any.
The very fact that so much is being covered in so few pages means that there is an automatic issue of depth. No topic is covered in its full theological glory. Entire volumes have been written on topics like faith and sin, so one cannot come to this work expecting mind-bending treatises or total analysis. Most of the hundred and two topics are only given two to three pages at most. This makes the "Essential" in the title true: only the essence exists here. But again, for what it seeks to accomplish, this book hits the bullseye.
If you are not familiar with Reformed Theology, it differs slightly from other schools of theological thought, but not in any way as to be questionable. Personally, I find Reformed thought to be the most solid of all the differing viewpoints. But as such, there will be some differences in the issues of grace, eschatology, methodologies of sanctification and justification, and ecclesiology. Charismatics/Pentacostals, for example, will find him at once sympathetic and antagonistic to many cherished doctrines.Read more ›
Sproul tackles all of the major tenets of Christianity from "Who is God" to "What is Heaven like?" What does baptism mean? What is sanctification? Should I obey the government?
The book contains 102 chapters, none of which runs more than three or four pages. The bite-sized chunks are perfect for personal daily reading or for group study. Each chapter also contains Scriptural references dealing with the topic covered.
'Essential Truths' will not answer all your questions, but it is a good place to start for the new Christian, the skeptic, or anyone in between. My only complaint: Sproul gives a list of books for further reading at the back of the book, but doesn't break them down by category. All in all, however, Sproul has given readers a great introduction to the basics of the Christian faith.
This is a book for:
1. The Christian that knows "what" they believe but really not "how to prove it." (Most of us)
2. A NEW CHRISTIAN, or someone who is thinking about becoming a christian and/or questioning it. IT HELPS THE NEW CHRISTIAN know what the Bible says so they have a better chance at not getting deceived by false doctrines/Satan's tricks.
3. A strong Christian, to keep on the shelf for debate material or to show/explain to the people listed in #'s 1 and 2.
One thing to note: it is from a reformed perspective (if you don't know what that means, then don't even worry about it.) Even though it is reformed, it leaves for some interpretation and shows respect for slightly different viewpoints on the minor topics.
Essentials of the Christian Faith is a catechetical work designed as a readable exposition of the Christian faith aimed at Protestants. The book is divided into ten sections (Revelation, Nature and Attributes of God, Works and Decrees of God, Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit, Human Beings and the Fall, Salvation, Church and Sacraments, Spirituality, End Times) with expositions of related topics contained in each. As appropriate for the purpose, the writing is concise but Sproul's talent for teaching shows through and it is never a dull read - regardless of one's reaction to the presentation.
Readers of Sproul will not be surprised that he leaves little doubt where he stands on almost every issue of theological importance. It becomes obvious early on that he equates Christianity with its Reformational form - and while striving for charity within variations of traditional Protestantism, he vigorously opposes views held only by non-Protestant Christian traditions. This glossing over internal differences, while not surprising, soon begins to appear a bit strained. There is simply no good reason for many of the points disputed within Protestantism to be considered less essential than those separating Protestantism from Rome (or Orthodoxy).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
RC is good at explaining weighty concepts. And each topic is very brief. A useful book to have in your library.Published 1 month ago by Michael P.
4 stars because the teachings of this book are sound, excellent overview for a new Christian. However, it reads like a dictionary. It's broken up into key words which are defined. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Tbest
This book is great for the new Christian, or for those wanting to sharpen up on understanding basic doctrines, or for those wanting to mature in their walk with Christ. Read morePublished 2 months ago by John Wolf
RC Sproul’s book, Essential Truths of the Christian Faith, is a balanced, concise and easy to read guide of 102 Christian doctrines. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Allen Haynie
A great go-to book or Biblical essentials. Sproul is a great teacher.Published 6 months ago by Bruce R.